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gtludwig 11-08-2012 07:40 AM

how to switch hybrid graphics on Slackware?
Hi all,

I own a Dell Inspiron 15R SE (7520) laptop that has hybrid intel HD Graphics 4000 and ATi Radeon HD 7730M. On Windows there's a way to define each application to use a power saving (intel) or high performance (radeon) graphics.

Recently I installed Slackware64-current (iso download on Oct. 26th, 2012) and as I was configuring the system, I installed the proprietary AMD driver and X did not run. I don't remember the issue, since I needed to reinstall the system anyhow (I threw in 16 gigs of RAM and changed the mSATA card!).

Now I want to reinstall Slackware64-current but I've remembered this video card issue.

Has anyone experienced this as well and have come to a suitable solution?

Thanks in advance!

serafean 11-08-2012 09:28 AM


for now hybrid cards on linux are in an experimental stage.
With OSS drivers, using the very latest graphics stack (read X server, DDX drivers, mesa and kernel), you might get it working. If you do, AFAIK it is the best working solution : you should be able to switch redering on the fly. However, using the OSS drivers, you will lose a bit of performance (in case of your radeon, I'm not sure if it's supported yet, check whether it's a SI generation card).

If you decide to use catalyst, catalyst bundles the intel driver, however there is no runtime switching of the rendering card, every time you'll need to restart the X server.

Disclaimer : I have never "production-used" a hybrid graphics system, this is what I gathered from setting up systems for friends and following news.


TommyC7 11-08-2012 09:37 AM

When I had an AMD/Intel GPU setup on my laptop, I just used the AMD proprietary drivers which came with an option to switch between the desired GPU. I just ran "sh" and it all worked.

How did you install the drivers and did you do any weird stuff with it?

gtludwig 11-08-2012 09:50 AM

I don't mind not having the runtime switch function, I can live with radeon driver 24/7. I know it uses up a lot more juice from the battery, but since the notebook is a i7 with full HD display, I don't plan using it far from the power outlet for long periods of time.

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